Last year I was in a very busy mall at a coffee shop during the holiday season. I had the sudden urge to buy the man behind me a coffee. It was the oddest thing to me. This man did not look like he needed anyone buying him a drink. He was dressed nicely and he smiled and looked rather content as he waited patiently for me to list off all of the items of my complicated coffee order.
I felt baffled as my instincts continued to nudge me to buy him a drink. I fought with those instincts and thought how weird would that be if I bought this man something. I argued back inwardly-I don't even know him. The end result of the battle is that I walked away from the counter having made only one purchase... my own.
I shared the inward struggle with my husband who said maybe you should have done it. I immediately felt regret-the man was no longer in the store and I tried to forget about the ordeal as I read the back of my coffee cup. The cup had a story on the back about buying gas for a stranger or doing a good deed for someone that you don't know. This did not make me feel any better.
I realized that one of the biggest acts of kindness is doing a good deed for someone who has done nothing for you in return. I often think of that missed oportunity and feel a bit of guilt. I am hopeful that this season I will listen to my instincts and do great small deeds for those who I have no affiliation with.
The holiday spirit as it is ofte called can refer to being nice, cheerful and kind. Unfortunately I believe that the to-do list can get so long that people often in the midst of doing nice things for those they know may not be so kind to those they don't know. With traffic jams, full malls, and worries of January debt it is easy to be distracted and not tak ehold of the meaning of the season. This year we set a limit for those on our list in our family. We are trying to get back to the pure magic of December and away from the materialism and greed.
So....how about a challenge??
I implore you to take sometime and do something nice for someone new. You can shovel a walk, make a card or just help them with the door. If you do take me up on this challenge be sure to share it in the comments field. We could all use a bit holiday warmth during this cold season.
Read something great!